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Re: Xah Lee

__/ [John Bokma] on Saturday 15 October 2005 19:24 \__

> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> __/ [John Bokma] on Saturday 15 October 2005 08:19 \__
>>> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>> I thought some people in this group may find this interesting.
>>>> http://schestowitz.com/Weblog/archives/2005/10/15/non-evolving-se-
> os/
>>> Aargh, you link to a well know troll: Xah Lee.
>> You reap what you saw, you cite what you read, you make up for
>> mistakes. I am reluctant to prune text once it's written.
> Maybe read some other parts of Xah Lee's site. He has very little clue,
> and citing him might be regarded as agreeing with his views, which are
> unstable to say the least.

Oh, dear... don't tell me that. *smile* Now I'm anxious...

>> I never
>> erase, but only comment out text* (HTML and LaTeX included). My
>> apologies for that mistake. UseNet disorientation means unknown
>> 'faces'. *smile*
>> *I have the same tendency when it comes to code. About 50% of my
>> source files are commented out lines,
> I always clean up. I consider source with commented out lines,
> especially written by others, a pain to read. It looks a lot like the
> person is in doubt about his/her own capabilities. If some code is no
> longer used, because the idea was wrong (which normally should have been
> detected in the design stage, but of course there are exceptions), then
> I would comment in the new code why I chose it like that, instead of
> letting garbage float everywhere.

Well, the code that is left out is not fundamentally wrong. It just does not
contribute although it might do something valid. In MATLAB, for example, I
often write some code to plot my data for debugging purposes. I often wish
to look at it again later. Rather than:

if (debug_mode > 0 | verbose > 0),
  % stuff here
  % stuff here
  % stuff here

I can comment it out within a second in a rich text editor. It may also look
more elegant than conditional statements all around. Moreover, setting one
of the conditional flag above means that all debugging or unnecessary bits
will show up, leading to a big mess and screen clutter (many open windows
that are hardly distinguishable).

> Besides, if you use subversion, all your code is stored somewhere, so no
> need to keep it cluttering up code.

I never worked with svn, but I use cvs on occasions. But I agree, it's worth

>> which some editors (with
>> relevant modular bits of the compiler) can easily omit. I suffer from
>> information greed, I think. I hate erasing lines or code, which might
>> become useful one day.
> Then you should move them to a library, not leave them floating in
> source files just because.

The issue is locational information. line numbers change continuously and
you only end up in more of a mess if you distribute arbitrary code bits
across arbitrary files. It's also time-consuming.

Think of a Perl script that you run daily. If you want to take functionality
away from it for just a week, will you move it into appendices.pl?


Roy S. Schestowitz      | Useless fact: A dragonfly only lives for one day
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